The modern world faces numerous challenges and growing concerns regarding the need for food security and sustainability. As urbanization grows, there is an urgent appeal to integrate farming and gardening practices in many architectural projects to help supplement food supply shortages, reduce energy consumption, and contribute to the community’s overall well-being.
There are many ways to use what they call green architecture. Creating aesthetically pleasing spaces and significantly contributing to sustainable efforts is a huge step in the right direction. This movement has gained momentum in recent years with green spaces becoming more common, along with edible landscapes and other agricultural elements that get integrated into building and urban designs.
Since buildings account for almost 40% of global energy-related CO2, it is only sensible to encourage the construction industry to take part in a sustainable transformation by incorporating green spaces in their architecture.
Here are the benefits of incorporating green architecture:
One’s surroundings directly impact their quality of life and overall well-being. By utilizing sustainable architecture, one’s habitat can be significantly improved. It can reduce air pollutants and other environmental impacts.
Architectural projects incorporating agriculture in their designs can greatly help battle food insecurity. This ensures occupants can have immediate access to fresh, healthy food. Plus, this move can also be instrumental in lessening one’s reliance on distant food sources.
Green architecture can minimize the impact of large buildings and other residential structures in urban areas, reducing carbon footprint in the process. Businesses, in many cases, have taken the lead to do something positive by opting for green initiatives.
Community gardens can bring people from diverse backgrounds together, allowing them to connect and collaborate. This can foster a sense of community while giving everyone in the local area an opportunity to grow their own food.
Community gardens are such a great way to help the local community learn and experience sustainable gardening practices and the benefits of growing their own food. The local government can even incorporate signage and educational programming into its policies to encourage more people and businesses to utilize green architecture.
With the use of walls and other vertical surfaces to grow plants, vertical gardens are great additions to the growing green agriculture movement. Ferns and bromeliads work best as they can easily adapt to the weather and are often humid-resistant. Vegetables and beans for food sources will also make the best choice. Not only does this initiative create visual displays, it also can purify the air and provide food and habitat for wildlife.
Some of the most common systems being used by architects to construct and build vertical gardens include soil-based systems, prefabricated systems, and hydroponic or aeroponic systems.
Houses and buildings with accessible rooftops will be able to grow plants on the roof. This can give inhabitants various advantages, including stormwater management, improved air quality, and insulation.
Plants on the roof can retain rainwater and moderate temperature. They often act as natural filters for water that runs off the building. It can also provide people with a relaxing and refreshing place to gather and relish the outdoors.
For those with walls around their homes, covering the walls with plants such as clematis hybrids, American bittersweet, and ivy can also be a great technique for a visually stunning design with some environmental benefits such as insulation and good air quality.
Urban areas can be notorious for their high-rise buildings and concrete pavements. This can affect the severity of the weather on bad days. For many advocates of green architecture, utilizing the principles for street landscapes is one of the most ideal ways of offsetting the pollution and other environmental impacts of urban living.
Even something as simple as planting trees and shrubs in street areas can already go a long way. It is even better if the local community can incorporate vegetables and other edible plants in street landscapes as it can aid its survival and growth. It can also help a lot in purifying the air and beautifying the surroundings.
Some building designs extend their sustainable efforts to freshwater conservation. Installing a rainwater harvesting system on the building can reduce reliance on city water resources. The system works by collecting stormwater in barrels. The structure then moves water directly to filtration systems, where it gets filtered through. Residents can then use the water for washing, bathing, and other uses.
Another benefit of a rainwater harvesting system is the reduction of masonry moisture levels, thereby decreasing the damage and enhancing the structure’s longevity.
Urban dwellers fortunate enough to have an extra space in their backyard may want to consider setting up a small garden. They may choose to put up flowering plants to make their home aesthetically pleasing or opt for a vegetable garden that will help them grow their own food.
They will be able to attract wildlife like birds and butterflies to visit their garden and also help purify the air. Being able to source some of their food products from the backyard can also be of great help. Think of easily grown plants like these foolproof shiitake mushrooms. They are easy to grow and highly nutritious too.
It might not be as popular an idea compared to urban gardening, but urban animal husbandry can be quite beneficial to those with the patience and means to do so. It can be as simple as raising easily manageable animals like chickens or bees.
Free-range chickens raised for eggs can be a good idea. One will only need to find the right tools and materials to make it possible. For example, finding the appropriate nest boxes can make a world of difference because by then chickens will have a space where they can lay eggs comfortably.
For urban beekeeping, honey bees are the most common choice. The process involves the same steps that traditional beekeeping requires, including founding colonies with queens and worker bees, housing them, and providing supplemental feeding when needed. There are also plenty of beekeeping starter kits available in local shops and online stores to make the job easier for those who are interested.
There are plenty of opportunities to explore innovative approaches to urban planning and architecture in a way that allows one to integrate sustainable farming and gardening practices. It can leave a positive and lasting impact on the environment, improve one’s well-being, and help them grow their own food, promptly reducing their reliance on distant-sourced products that rack up the cost.